Equanimity involves a willingness to rise and greet everything as it is: good, bad, painful, pleasant... To be honest, I felt hesitant about rising to greet my newsfeed this morning. I mean, waking up to bad news is not my favourite way to start the day. And furthermore, if the news was bad, what could I DO about it?
I reminded myself that ignoring reality is not the best way to deal with it.
Reading the news is hard for many people, myself included. It confronts us with a lot of suffering. It often hurts my heart. When I read the news, I try to practice equanimity. This involves cultivating a balanced perspective. An equanimous news-reading session involves allowing my heart to hurt without condemning or hating anyone else in the process. Some days that takes a lot of work.
Equanimity ALSO means feeling pleasure without grasping and clinging at it, and staying present and receptive to neutral experiences too. It involves practicing an attitude of serene even-mindedness amidst the ever-changing tides. It is not neutrality or indifference. When we cultivate Upeksha, we're still moved by injustice in the world. We are still motivated to make things better, but our response is not borne from reactivity. It is borne from a state of even-minded openness that allows for a clear, balanced, considered response.
We care. We care deeply about our own and others’ suffering and when we choose a response, we choose wisely.
Intention/Affirmation: ‘I listen with openness and respond with thoughtfulness.'
Meditation: Mindful Breathing (see video). Mindfulness practices (Just being with things as they are) train us to be less reactive
On the Mat: Mountain Pose. Contemplate the still, strong presence of a mountain. Unmoved, unreactive - regardless of what happens around it: rain, sun, snow, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, etc
Off the Mat: When you notice yourself getting caught up in reactivity - remind yourself to respond with an even, open mind.